10 OG High School Lessons I Packed Up And Took To College With Me

10 OG High School Lessons I Packed Up And Took To College With Me

Listen, listen, listen.

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Packing for college can be a little stressful. You've got to make sure you have enough clothes for all of the seasons, the right books and supplies for your classes, all of your toiletries, enough storage space to put this stuff in. You've got to make sure you've got all of your pictures of your BFFs from home and your family printed out, all of the decorations for your room put together, and all of your snacks ready to go. Those were all of the necessities for me...or so I thought.

The most important thing that I've brought to college has been some advice and lessons I learned on the road to get here. More specifically, the lessons I learned in high school.

In high school, I learned...

1. Embrace the struggle

There were so many nights during my junior year that felt like they'd never end. I was drowning in my various assignments, but mostly struggling with mental health and outside situations that made me feel like things would never get better. After getting out of that dark period, I learned that instead of looking at those moments with the mindset of, "Why is this happening to me?" that I should look at it with the mentality of, "What is this teaching me?" or "How can I grow from this?"

2. Find at least one thing every day that you can look forward to

In high school, I think a lot of people fall into the same routine. You go to school. You take the same classes every day. You sit by the same people at lunch. Etcetera. Life doesn't have to be so bland and uniform. If you can find one thing to stand out each day that can bring you a little bit of joy, even when it feels like you're just going through the motions, that can make all the difference in the world.

3. You don't have to be defined by the choices you've made

Wake up and take each day as it comes. With an open heart, an open mind, and a whole sea of possibilities awaiting. I think in high school, especially as a freshman and sophomore, I was still struggling with the person I was in middle school. Those three years were the worst for me, and they turned me into a person I wasn't proud of. I spent so much time dwelling on the past until I realized that I couldn't move on until I let it go. I had to take responsibility, obviously, but I wasn't the same person I was then, so why was I letting that version of myself controll my life? Own up to yesterday's mistakes and follies, learn from them, and grow.

4. That being said, don't forget where you've been

My mom always tells me that a parents job is to love their kids and prepare them to leave the nest. To help them plant their roots at home but to be able to grow somewhere else. I think that's beautiful, and I think it's important. I grew up moving around from place to place, never staying anywhere for more than a year or two before the military would move my Dad and station him elsewhere. That was my life until we finally settled in Charleston. Charleston is my home, but I also feel equally as content and at home here in Rhode Island. I miss my family, I know where my roots are planted, but I am here, growing in Rhode Island, and becoming the best version of myself.

5. Your feelings are valid

You have sucky days. You have days where you feel like you're on top of the world. Both kinds of days are equally as important.

6. The best kind of people are the ones that push you to be the most genuine version of yourself

There were cliques at my school. When your school has 4,000 kids, it'd be a miracle if there weren't. I think when I first got to high school, I wanted so badly to find my place, I put my passions and personality on the back burner. I found a group of unique, creative, and loving people who pushed me to be the best, most authentic version of myself. That's how I knew I'd found my place. No matter what you love to do or who you're surrounded by, make sure you're being authentic. The people who want to be around that you are the ones worth keeping forever.

7. Family is more than just your blood

Yes, that is super cliche. But don't think for one second that this isn't true. In high school, I was a part of yearbook and choir for four years in some way shape or form. Over the course of those four years, I met some of my best friends, learned how to love, and laugh and feel free with these groups of people who cared for me. I looked forward to seeing hundreds of people every single day because each of them played a role in making me who I am today.

8. Go on random 1 a.m. adventures with people you love

My senior year of high school was one of the best years of my life. I had ups and downs, but I think 2017-2018 was the school year I laughed the most, loved the best, and felt free. My friends and I almost all went to different schools, so we spent as much time as we could with each other. Days at the beach or going on little trips turned into nights filled with Italian food and movies at my house, which turned into piling into various cars and going to the beach after midnight to try and find ghost crabs. It doesn't matter what you do as long as you're doing it with people who make the strangest of things seem like the most fun thing in the world.

9. Travel as often as you can

Whether you're taking an 8-hour bus trip to Orlando, a 36-hour ride to Colorado, or a 4-hour flight to DC, find people who make the destination equally as entertaining as the journey to get there. And then go out and explore.

10.  Listen

To people you know. To strangers. To people you agree with. To people you don't. To people who are younger than you, or older than you. Listen to your classmates and their ideas and their dreams. Listen, listen, listen, listen. It's the only way you can start to shape a well-rounded worldview and grow. Listen and know your truth, and don't be afraid to change it should you discover you had some things wrong. Listen and learn from people from different walks of life from you. Listen for a new perspective. Listen to your gut about things. Listen to your heart, too. Listen listen listen.

High school seems like an eternity ago, but at the same time, I still recall my experiences and these lessons so vividly. Probably because I'll need them forever.

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Hey ECU, We Really Need Some More Parking, But Sure, Go Ahead And Spend The Money On ANOTHER Student Center

Seriously, who decides what our tuition should be spent on?

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I get the "I'm here" text, and I bound down the stairs and plop myself into my friend's car. "Where can I park?" Craning my neck to search for an empty spot, I reply, "Wherever you see an open spot. This is war." We spend the first 15 minutes of our visit together driving around, waiting for those blessed white lights to signal someone leaving.

Later on that night, my friend mentions they're hungry. I hype them up to go to the new student center, given all the options. "Should we drive to it?"

I laugh, "And give up our spot?" We pull up the bus schedule and wait for the next one.

While munching on Canes' chicken, we sit and talk. "This place is HUGE." I shrug, and then they ask, "You don't like it?" I sigh and proceed to tell them what I'm about to tell you.

I love the student center. It's cool. A nice place to do homework, and it does give more options for food. But I remind my friend about our parking ordeal. "We need more parking but… Did they spend our money to build this instead? We didn't NEED this."

This may not seem like a big deal, but this isn't the only problem students have on campus.

We are shocked when we have hot showers. We are paying literal thousands to be here, and yet hot showers is a treat. Isn't that kind of a basic expectation?

There are about 400 students living in my residence hall, but we only have about 16 clothes washers and dryers. People won't move their stuff in a timely manner, so we have to wait (or some people just take your clothes out).

My friend is having to go on the "Elimination Diet", due to the fact that she constantly breaks out into heat rashes all the time, which may actually be allergic reactions to some food she's eating. But how can she even maintain this when the dining halls really offer no healthy food options?

Buses are continuously overcrowded. But we will see buses continuing routes, with the words "NOT IN SERVICE". People stand around and wait for the next one.

When walking to the library from my dorm (because the bus is overcrowded), I can spot an unfinished, unnecessary sidewalk that ends in the middle of… nowhere. They took the time and resources to build a sidewalk with no purpose.

I'm not trying to complain. I'm trying to bring attention. We have a new student center, but we can't have hot showers?

I feel like things need to be re-prioritized.

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